Alan Scott, Wood-Fired-Oven Builder, 72
The New York Times ran an obit yesterday for Alan Scott, who died on January 26 in Tasmania, Australia. Scott was the driving force behind California-based Ovencrafters, a small company that revolutionized the way backyard brick-oven bakers—and not a small amount of commercial ones—baked their breads and pizza. The Times says:
Several thousand amateur bread bakers and thin-crust pizza makers now have backyard brick ovens, many with cathedral-like arches, that were built either by Mr. Scott, with Mr. Scott or according to specifications he laid out with his protégé Daniel Wing in their 1999 book, The Bread Builders.
More than a how-to manual, the book is also a meticulous treatise on the history of bread making and the physics of baking, with instructions, for example, on how long to let the dough rise. Mr. Scott, who held instructional workshops around the country, played a role in bringing brick ovens to hundreds of bakeries and restaurants as well.
I actually have his book at home—not that I have the opportunity to use it; I just like daydreaming. My condolences go out to Mr. Scott's family and friends.